OK, here's a quick update which is essentially an email I sent to a few people, basically I'm too busy with life for the internet right now, but I don't want to turn my back on it completely:
"It's been pretty hectic here for the last few months, well basically since I started working in December. Now I have no internet and rarely get a moment to jump on a computer at work [I've just come in now after working in one of the other sights for the day]. But besides that what has happened?:
I bought an old steel road bike from a friend on the cheap and a few days later I went off to Belgium and the Netherlands for a week. I caught a train the night before I had planned to leave and ended up in Rotterdam. I say ended up as I wasn't intending to be there, it was the product of last minute cheap ticket offers and miscommunications. I decided to ride from there to Brugge for a hotrod/bike party i was going to [where I finally got to meet Chris, thanks mate!]. Did it over two days as I didn't leave Rotterdam until after 3pm and it was about 200km including about 20+km of distance covered while lost. Ended up riding from Rotterdam through Brugge, Gent, Brussels and to Antwerp to stay with friends for a few days [Thanks Chris and Ann, missing you!] before going to the Benelux polo Championships back near Amsterdam.
Some nice little memories along the way like rolling into a small town after 11pm, and within 10 minutes after eating, I had met people who introduced me to someone I could stay with for the night. I had a recumbent pass me like I was sitting still while I was spinning in top gear down into a tunnel under a river. Also got a nice slipstream tow and guide for about 40km from a friendly local road rider in western Holland.
I just had my sleeping bag strapped to my bars, a backpack with my bike bag, a few tools and that's about it. A decent map would have been very helpful as I was relying on some google maps prints and directions from locals, I also would have killed for some proper shoes and pedals [fixed that upon getting home and haven't really worn other shoes since].
There are some beautiful areas out there and as is my experience when travelling, most everyone was very friendly and helpful. I would seriously consider moving to Antwerp! Maybe I'll keep an eye out for jobs out there...
Back to normal life in Berlin now, which consists of German language classes from 8, then work from 12 till whenever I finish, usually after 7, then time with friends before sleep. Currently working mostly in an old atelier building where we are building a bar and restaurant that will open in about 2 weeks, and close 6 weeks after that. It's such an improvement to be working in a vibrant park rather than the dark cave of a club where I spend most of my working hours.
Polo has been very much on the back-burner lately due to being busy with everything else but I've been back out a couple of times recently now that that I can keep the swiss-army-bike as a dedicated polo rig. I might head over to Barcelona in about a month to see the European championships, not play, just a good time to go there to see the place and some old friends.
By the way, I just got told the other day that there are some photos of my beautiful new niece here
That the highlights for the moment, since I'm dedicating some time to internet usage now I've also put a few more recent photos up too but still many months behind.
As usual I regret that it's such a long time between contacts but it just the way life is right now."
Sorry for the lack of pictures, but just hit the links for some visual stimulation. Hope everything is great by anyone [will anyone read this, or has everyone got bored and tuned out by now?] and everyone reading this!
RIP James Gandolfini
1 hour ago